Missed targets see Azzurri staff at risk

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In the past 12 months, eight directorial roles have been eliminated to make way for the new structure to streamline the 15 businesses acquired by the company in the past eight years.

Azzurri divisional director Martin Flick said although the restructure would aim to cut costs by up to 15 per cent, it was not a straight cost cutting exercise, but part of a new strategy to focus on delivering converged solutions to customers from within a nationally aligned organisation.

Flick told Mobile News: “We’ve bought 15 companies in the past eight years which has created an element of duplication in the group. We expect to see benefits in reducing our cost base. Not because we have to, but because we will be bringing together 16 organisations.

“We’ve had conversations with staff, as this could lead to redundancies within the group. It is too soon to speculate on the number of possible redundancies.”

The roll call of directors that have left Azzurri in the past year is Iain Glanville, group finance director; Ben Orchard, finance director; Simon Price, sales director; Rob Bruce, southern sales director; Ian Kelly, northern sales director; Carl Boraman, technical operations director; Simon Rogan, managed services director; and Eric Thickett, managing director. Boraman moved to Samsung as head of MIT and smartphones and will be responsible for driving sales and increasing market share of handsets in the UK and Ireland.

Flick denied the number of departures signalled trouble in the business. He said: “This is not unusual in a mergers and acquisition environment. These were amicable and mutual agreements.”

In January, Gordon Matthew, from Red Sky IT, replaced chief executive Martin St Quinton, who remains involved in the business as founder. In June, Jim McKenna will join as chairman from converged solutions provider Logica.

Matthew sent an email to staff at the end of last month asking for representatives from each team to facilitate wider staff consultation ahead of the impending redundancies.

He wrote: “Following a poor financial performance in H1 2007/2008, January trading was also well behind expectations. Overall revenues, gross margins and operating profits are all significantly behind plan YTD.

“A consequence of our revised plan is the need to reduce costs by 10-15 per cent and provide savings across the group. This cost control will involve redundancies across a number of areas in Azzurri.”

Flick said targets in H1 last year were missed as they were set “very high”. “Azzurri continues to be profitable,” he said.

A disgruntled staffer told Mobile News: “The main board of Azzurri made promises and set expectations that were unrealistic and unkind.

“It is the staff who will pay the price, while the directors already sit on the millions they made when PPM bought in.

“The directors deserve to be exposed and don’t deserve to keep profiting from our losses after many loyal years service.”

 

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